-The Weeping Prophet-
Jeremiah the priest, became God's spokesperson to Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, as a prophet in 627 B.C.
Jeremiah was born in a village just outside Jerusalem, called Anathoth, only one hour's walk away from the city
Timid by nature, he received The Lord's assurance that he would be strong and courageous. Jeremiah became fearless in His service of God.
For 40 years God called Jeremiah to confront the nation with their sin and urged the people to turn back to God. God told Jeremiah not to marry and have children because of the impending doom coming upon the nation.
Jeremiah ministered to the people during the reigns of Judah's last five kings before Judah was eventually conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar's army from Babylon in 586 B.C.
The importance of all Jeremiah's messages was repentance because the society of Judah was deteriorating spiritually, morally, politically and economically because of their negligence of God's Word.
He spoke out against false prophets throughout Judah, and the officials at the city gates who were totally corrupt, as well as the religious officials in The Temple.
Jeremiah had contempt for the deceptive lying prophets and teachers who proclaimed on going peace to a rebellious nation. A nation that had forsaken God and embraced foreign idols to which they sacrificed their children.
The people of Judah was deceived by these false teachers and Jeremiah wept for them, begging them to give up false persuasions, false seers and turn back to The True Living God of their forefathers, The God of All Creation.
Jeremiah often felt discouraged and grievous because of the oppressive assignment of downcast messages to be preached to the people living in the southern Kingdom of Israel, Judah.
Jeremiah passionately urged the people to respond to God's messages as he spoke forth of warning judgment, but no one cared and he was always despondent because of the lack of response from a fallen people doomed to be led into exile. Nobody listened.
Jeremiah not only accused Judah's Leaders of breaking God's Covenant, but prophesied about the destruction of The Temple and The City of Jerusalem; according to the officials God would never destroy The Temple of Solomon nor the City which He called His own. Nevertheless they had led the people in a broken Covenant with God, they did not keep their part of the bond and disobeyed God's Laws by idolatry and abandoning The Sovereign God.
Jeremiah was told by God each time how to deliver his messages by symbolism as the nation's ideals declined. There were many parables Jeremiah showed and explained to the people to illustrate God's sovereignty. God's Word burned within him.
Jeremiah felt God's love for the people. This helped Jeremiah to keep on going when he was very despondent and he continued to warn of the approaching judgment from God. The people did not repent of their sins, nor of their idolatry.
Judah's disaster occurred because of their disregard to God and their obedience to His Word. They ignored confession of sin, and did they recognize nor acknowledge their sin, they wanted to believe the false prophets for it suited them to do so.
Jerusalem was destroyed and The Temple was left in ruins. The nation caused this themselves and they were totally responsible for their captivity. They refused and rejected the warnings of repentance to avoid such a measure of correction in the messages God had sent to alert them through Jeremiah.
God would enslave the people for 70 years in Babylon and to prove to Jeremiah the people would one day return, Jeremiah was to buy an area of land in his own hometown, God promised him that restoration would come later.
Jeremiah announced to the people that God was going to bring a new covenant. He predicted not only of a new covenant, but of a new Shepherd, The Messiah, who would lead the people into a new kingdom, a new future, changing men hearts from sin to love God.
God would write his laws on the hearts of his people, forgiveness and cleansing would come.
Jeremiah loved Judah and the people despite their sins. Jeremiah was branded as a traitor and to others a true patriot when he advised against rebellion.
Jeremiah also prophesied about foreign nations and their judgments.
He knew the majority of opinions is not necessarily God's Will. Although the punishment of Judah was exacting, there was always hope in God's mercy for the forgiveness of their sins.
Jeremiah told the people that God could destroy his sinful people if he so desired, and that he would smash Judah just as Jeremiah smashed the clay pots because they were not interested in God, their Creator at all.
Throughout his lifetime Jeremiah experienced the excitement of a spiritual renewal and awakening under King Josiah, then he watched the nation turn to idolatry with each succeeding king.
Throughout Jeremiah's life he was rejected by his family, relatives and his neighbours, except for his closest companion, his faithful scribe, who wrote down Jeremiah's words as he spoke them to the people. Jeremiah was thrown in to prison, put in stocks, left for dead in a well, and was exiled to Egypt. His scribe also went with him into banishment.
Jeremiah lived to see many of God's prophecies come true. He had faith and courage. God's Word burned within him. His prophecies were both short ranged and long ranged events of judgment.
Jeremiah did not fail in his task to carry out the Will of God and he remained faithful to God throughout his lifetime.
Endurance is not a common quality, most people lack long time commitment, especially a task that was against the whole community. His life was threatened many times.
Jeremiah is the longest book in the bible. Jeremiah's scribe wrote the book that bears Jeremiah's name and Jeremiah himself wrote The Book of Lamentations, a poem grieving for the nation of Judah.
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